Friday, 13 March 2009

Sea level rise: the single biggest issue to come out of the Copenhagen talks

A guest post by James Abbott, GP national climate change spokesman. [Sorry, can't get the links to work... ;-( ]:

Melting ice sheets could raise sea levels high enough to flood coastal areas around the globe by the end of the century, according to scientists gathering in Denmark for a three-day climate-change conference. The phenomenon could affect regions including Florida, the Netherlands, Bangladesh, and the Maldives, the British Guardian newspaper reports.

The
meeting, which brings 2,000 scientists to Copenhagen, is a run-up to December's international climate talks, where officials are set to draft a successor to the Kyoto treaty to limit carbon dioxide emissions. Experts will also update the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which released its findings on global warming two years ago. Some of that new information centers on the effects of glacier melts in Greenland and Antarctica.
Not only are ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica breaking up faster than scientists expected, but more of their melt water is flowing into oceans, which will raise sea levels by 3.3 feet (1 meter) by 2100. The IPCC previously estimated that sea levels would rise by 7.9 to 23.6 inches (20 to 60 centimeters) by then.
A 1m sea level rise would result in large areas of low lying farmland in the UK - particularly in East Anglia, having to be lost to the sea. It would result in decisions having to be made about which communities to defend and which to evacuate. And it would put major towns and cities, including London, at increased risk of storm surge flooding.
The total failure of Governments to act fast enough or radically enough is tragically illustrated today where a High Court decision has downplayed the need to look at climate change in respect of the Government decision to expand one of Londons Airports. The Government has granted consent to Stansted airport to expand by another 10 million passengers per year to 35mppa and also wants a second runway to expand it to as big as Heathrow is today - AND the Government wants a third runway at Heathrow and expansion at many other airports, all of which will increase UK CO2 emissions, totally at odds with the ever louder warnings from scientists.
UK CO2 has barely changed since Labour came to power in 1997 and globally is rising fast.

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1. 2. 3. Rupert's Read: Sea level rise: the single biggest issue to come out of the Copenhagen talks 4. 12. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 23. 24.

25. 26. Sea level rise: the single biggest issue to come out of the Copenhagen talks 27. 28.

29.
A guest post by James Abbott, GP national climate change spokesman. [Sorry, can't get the links to work... ;-( ]:

Melting ice sheets could raise sea levels high enough to flood coastal areas around the globe by the end of the century, according to scientists gathering in Denmark for a three-day climate-change conference. The phenomenon could affect regions including Florida, the Netherlands, Bangladesh, and the Maldives, the British Guardian newspaper reports.

The
meeting, which brings 2,000 scientists to Copenhagen, is a run-up to December's international climate talks, where officials are set to draft a successor to the Kyoto treaty to limit carbon dioxide emissions. Experts will also update the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which released its findings on global warming two years ago. Some of that new information centers on the effects of glacier melts in Greenland and Antarctica.
Not only are ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica breaking up faster than scientists expected, but more of their melt water is flowing into oceans, which will raise sea levels by 3.3 feet (1 meter) by 2100. The IPCC previously estimated that sea levels would rise by 7.9 to 23.6 inches (20 to 60 centimeters) by then.
A 1m sea level rise would result in large areas of low lying farmland in the UK - particularly in East Anglia, having to be lost to the sea. It would result in decisions having to be made about which communities to defend and which to evacuate. And it would put major towns and cities, including London, at increased risk of storm surge flooding.
The total failure of Governments to act fast enough or radically enough is tragically illustrated today where a High Court decision has downplayed the need to look at climate change in respect of the Government decision to expand one of Londons Airports. The Government has granted consent to Stansted airport to expand by another 10 million passengers per year to 35mppa and also wants a second runway to expand it to as big as Heathrow is today - AND the Government wants a third runway at Heathrow and expansion at many other airports, all of which will increase UK CO2 emissions, totally at odds with the ever louder warnings from scientists.
UK CO2 has barely changed since Labour came to power in 1997 and globally is rising fast.
30. 31. 32.